Questions to Spur 2017 Planning

By Susan Schilke; January 6, 2017

Happy 2017!  It’s a new year – time for resolutions, goals and strategies to continue growth and success for your organization and you personally.  This month, I have framed some questions to get you thinking about your plans.

  1. What were your biggest wins of 2016?

Reflect on a few of your top accomplishments of the past year.  What did you achieve for your company, division or team?  What are the personal successes you are proudest of?  Take a few minutes and write down your 2016 triumphs (up to 5 total – 2-3 business and 2-3 personal)

  1. What was a missed opportunity in 2016, or something you’d like to do over?

Knowing what you know now, what is one thing you would have taken advantage of, or done sooner, differently, or not at all?

  1. What is the current biggest barrier to growth?

For your team or division, what’s the biggest limitation to accomplishing more?  For you personally, what is getting in your way?

  1. What is the top opportunity for higher performance next year?

Identify the best path to increased sales, lower costs, higher productivity, bigger margins and more profit.  Personally – what is the number one way you could improve?

  1. How will you Take AIM in 2017?

For your company, team, or personal effectiveness, identify specific actions in each of these categories:

Add – What do you need to start doing?

Increase – What are you doing that is working – and can be more effective with more focus?

Minimize – What do you need to less of – or stop doing altogether because it’s not working?

Taking time to reflect on the past year can really help frame new goals more effectively.  When you think about the wins, develop strategies to capitalize on these successes further.  Remembering do-overs or missed opportunities may help with better decisions in the upcoming year.  And when you look at goals for 2017, take time to identify the obstacles as well as the new opportunities.

Finally, take your vision all the way through to specifics.  And not just new programs and initiatives.  You will have things you believe can add to be more successful, but my guess is you are already juggling plenty of demands.  So balance new strategies and continued or increased focus in high-return areas, with identifying and reducing or eliminating things that just aren’t producing results.

I will spend some time with TeamStrength CEO and Key Executive members this month reviewing these questions.  Do the same on your own, or share these in a discussion with your team or direct reports.  We may not have all the answers for you, but I promise we’ll keep providing questions that help you find your own best strategies.